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Single phase milling machine recommendations

Good old tools...

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UncouthJ25/06/2022 21:29:33
49 forum posts
18 photos

Hi folks.

So I'm an old tools kinda guy... I have a wonderful 1941 Logan 700 lathe and a beautiful 1975 Sherry & son compressor. I'd really like to maintain this theme with my choice of milling machine, but struggling to find anything in 1ph. Is newer tech the only way? I'm guessing it's owing to the higher speeds involved with milling?

I just find the older tech so much more rigid and easy to maintain.

I have got my eye on a Warco WM250 that's had full CNC modification, should I just set my course that way and give up a fools errand in this instance?

Any thoughts and advice greatly appreciated!

J

Manofkent25/06/2022 21:54:39
142 forum posts
29 photos

I suppose you vould try a Centec 2B if one came up. Mine was certainly a single phase machine.

Could I make 2 other observations:

I eventually bought a 3 phase mill - a viceroy universal mill. Its a brilliant thing. Built like a tank. Originally I built a rotary phase converter with an old transformer, a motor and some capacitors to run it. This was as much easier than I had expected.

Nowadays I run it from a VMC. Just brilliant and so easy.

I also got a CNC mill eventually. I really wouldnt be without it now. Making a valve gear for my 3.1/2 gauge schools loco was so easy!

So my humble advice - give CNC and 3 ph a try. They have revolutionised my workshop.

All the best

John

I

not done it yet25/06/2022 21:56:18
6888 forum posts
20 photos

What is wrong with 3 phase? Better than single phase any day.

Just be careful with two speed motors and some contactors, but a single speed motor with a VFD can provide several refinements with the available programming possibilities.

Nearly all my machines are over 50 years old and all the main ones are (now) running with 3 phase motors.

Edited By not done it yet on 25/06/2022 21:56:32

duncan webster26/06/2022 01:15:29
4123 forum posts
66 photos

If you get a single phase centec with the motor mounted in the cabinet get some ear defenders as well. Three phase is sooooo much quieter.

DiogenesII26/06/2022 07:43:29
589 forum posts
234 photos

..no-one like Tom Seniors..?

not done it yet26/06/2022 08:26:53
6888 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by DiogenesII on 26/06/2022 07:43:29:

..no-one like Tom Seniors..?

Why? You trying to sell one?🙂🙂

SillyOldDuffer26/06/2022 09:12:45
Moderator
8903 forum posts
1999 photos

Wanting a single phase motor is an odd priority for choosing a machine tool. Is it because 'old ways are best'? If so, it doesn't apply to single-phase motors!

Getting an electric motor to run on single-phase AC is quite difficult, and the way it's done is always a compromise. The advantage is a motor that runs off ordinary domestic electricity, but they come with many disadvantages: unreliable due to capacitors, centrifugal switches, and delicate start windings, relatively inefficient, they vibrate, and don't like being continually stopped and restarted. In short, a poor choice for a machine tool, unless the workshop only had single-phase power.

DC and 3-phase motors both outperform single-phase types but back in the day, it was expensive to convert single-phase power into DC or 3-phase. Today's electronics can do either at reasonable cost and it's unusual to find new machine tools fitted with single-phase motors. Likewise, many faced with replacing a failed single-phased motor on a old machine, choose to replace single-phase with 3-phase powered by a VFD, which provides speed control, low vibration and other significant benefits.

Another point, of all the parts on an elderly tool likely to need replacing the motor is usually, not always, the easiest. Standardised mountings have been used for years so there's a good chance a new one will just drop in. Not so the rest of the machine: bearings and other spares might be difficult to source, while wear and tear can require significant remedial work - time and money. So I'd prioritise the machine's mechanical condition above all else. The motor is bottom of the list, except watch out for machines with special motors and complicated drive arrangements designed to provide variable speed; they can be difficult to replace, rewire, and worn mechanical parts may be unobtainable or cost more than the whole machine.

Not that many different older small milling machines available. Tom Senior seem more common than Centecs, and jig borers turn up from time to time. Industry and education seem to have preferred bigger machines, especially Bridgeports, and horizontals. Mill-drilling machines of the hobby-type are a more recent arrival, and a good thing too, because they provide a choice of size from table-top to big workshop via modest shed.

Dave

DiogenesII26/06/2022 09:40:23
589 forum posts
234 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 26/06/2022 08:26:53:
Posted by DiogenesII on 26/06/2022 07:43:29:

..no-one like Tom Seniors..?

Why? You trying to sell one?🙂🙂

I wish..

..just thought they'd be the kind of thing that would be a good fit in the OP's stable, are relatively common, still affordable, and do the job..

..was hoping a Senior owner might save me the trouble of hitting the keys whilst I was stuffing my face with bacon and eggs..

John Haine26/06/2022 09:49:18
4718 forum posts
273 photos

If by "old tech" you mean light industrial they would quite likely have fitted 3 phase as standard rather than use inefficient, unreliable, and vibration-prone single phase.

Mark Beech26/06/2022 10:16:36
2 forum posts

I have a 3 phase motor with electronic variable frequency inverter on the lathe for many reasons wouldn't have it any other way, but I put a 1.5hp single phase induction motor on my Adcock and Shipley 1es and it does everything I ask just fine. I think its just capacitor start, some are cap start and cap run making them a kind of 2 phase motor, its been 100% reliable, no noticeable vibration and electrical usage - i don't use it enough to worry about.

It only has 2 speeds to select by lever with a big difference between, I tend to "put up" with the spindle speed if its a bit on the slow or fast side as changing speed on the belts is a bit laborious, having a speed change with a turn of a knob would be nice but as I tend to be using the same cutter most of the time its not worth it for me even at the low prices inverters can be picked up at these days.

It depends on how much spare cash you have and what comes your way at the right price.

Dave Halford26/06/2022 10:45:00
2096 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by UncouthJ on 25/06/2022 21:29:33:

Hi folks.

So I'm an old tools kinda guy... I have a wonderful 1941 Logan 700 lathe and a beautiful 1975 Sherry & son compressor. I'd really like to maintain this theme with my choice of milling machine, but struggling to find anything in 1ph. Is newer tech the only way? I'm guessing it's owing to the higher speeds involved with milling?

I just find the older tech so much more rigid and easy to maintain.

I have got my eye on a Warco WM250 that's had full CNC modification, should I just set my course that way and give up a fools errand in this instance?

Any thoughts and advice greatly appreciated!

J

Just don't go for anything with plain bearings or horizontal only, or Startrite, or anything thing made by Arboga as they have built in special motors.

Vic26/06/2022 10:54:18
3091 forum posts
16 photos

I had an old Omnimill that I rewired to run on single phase and it worked fine. Apparently you only get about 80% of the rated power doing this but I never stalled it or noticed the motor slow down. Easily done, after swapping some wires you just need a large capacitor across two of the windings.

Macolm26/06/2022 12:22:02
avatar
85 forum posts
19 photos

I must admit to little feel for the following, and perhaps someone with technical experience of induction motors could comment.

A capacitor in series with the stray inductance of the start winding (or a phase shifted winding as in this case) will be series resonant at some frequency. The capacitive/inductive part of the impedance falls to zero at resonance, leaving only the residual resistances (including the effects of motor operation (if it runs)). This is inevitable, but will not be a problem providing the resonant frequency is not near 50 Hz (or whatever the supply frequency is). Clearly replacing a start capacitor with the same value is fine as the designer will already have taken care of things, and indeed the start winding path must be net capacitive for the arrangement to work properly.

Is there any chance of a problem when converting a three phase motor for single phase use? I have indeed done this, and in the absence of the means to make the appropriate measurements, I merely checked that the currents in the two paths were not too dissimilar.

Rannsachair26/06/2022 12:30:36
avatar
37 forum posts
61 photos

I have a single phase Centec 2A and a 3 phase Tom Senior light vertical with inverter. The 3 phase gives variable speed and I have similar on my Harrison M300, I prefer 3 phase and inverter.

120567535_3370576286322589_6005274274505593414_n.jpg

pxl_20220421_174440922.jpg

Circlip26/06/2022 12:33:09
1531 forum posts

Chances are, if you want 'old school', it will have to be re-imported via China or previously Taiwan in 'New clothes'. Three phase machinery was a good cheap purchase years ago when we were dismantling the British manufacturing industry. Pity (or fortuitous) inverters weren't the norm at that time.

Regards Ian.

Don't forget, if you go for inverted three phase variable speed supply, you may need an extra cooling supply to the motor.

Edited By Circlip on 26/06/2022 12:36:05

Richard Millington27/06/2022 08:55:40
71 forum posts
4 photos

I will be selling my bench mounted Centec 2a in a week or two, MK3 head,riser block,horiz arm etc, EMI dro.

 

 

Edited By Richard Millington on 27/06/2022 08:56:44

SillyOldDuffer27/06/2022 11:26:15
Moderator
8903 forum posts
1999 photos
Posted by Macolm on 26/06/2022 12:22:02:

I must admit to little feel for the following, and perhaps someone with technical experience of induction motors could comment.

A capacitor in series with the stray inductance of the start winding (or a phase shifted winding as in this case) will be series resonant at some frequency. The capacitive/inductive part of the impedance falls to zero at resonance, leaving only the residual resistances (including the effects of motor operation (if it runs)). This is inevitable, but will not be a problem providing the resonant frequency is not near 50 Hz (or whatever the supply frequency is). Clearly replacing a start capacitor with the same value is fine as the designer will already have taken care of things, and indeed the start winding path must be net capacitive for the arrangement to work properly.

Is there any chance of a problem when converting a three phase motor for single phase use? I have indeed done this, and in the absence of the means to make the appropriate measurements, I merely checked that the currents in the two paths were not too dissimilar.

Can't find the book which might explain this so my comments may be opinion based on faulty memory and not understanding it in the first place.

I don't think resonance is a problem; it might even be ideal. The purpose of the capacitor is to introduce a phase shift so that the winding it's connected to creates a magnetic field that attracts and repels relative to the magnetic field in another winding, and the force created turns the motor. As the power of the motor depends on the strength of the magnetic field, both windings should pass the maximum current possible. Resonance, I think, creates the maximum delay possible at the capacitor - a quarter of a cycle (90 degrees). If the winding was a pure inductance, it would be possible to fry it by applying more volts and amps than it can cope with. But it's a motor, which generates a back EMF when it rotates, which limits the current flowing in the winding. I think magic smoke would only appear if the motor stalled.

Whether it's sensible or not to convert a 3-phase motor to single-phase with a capacitor is another question. I see it as a potentially useful bodge rather than a general purpose solution. The problem is 3-phase motors have three windings designed to run 120 electrical degrees apart. A capacitor only shifts by 90 degrees, so the magnetic fields produced inside the motor by it are far from optimally timed. The phase difference is enough to turn the motor, but compared with 120 degree phased power, the start torque and power output are reduced, efficiency is reduced and the motor vibrates more. May not matter if the motor starts and only has to do relatively light work, but unacceptable when hard work and big electricity bills are on the agenda. So, potentially a cheap easy way of getting a 3-phase coolant pump to run, but definitely not a sensible way of powering the lifts in a busy tower block.

Purpose built single-phase motors are more efficient, but they aren't a good choice for heavy work either.

Dave

UncouthJ27/06/2022 21:48:11
49 forum posts
18 photos

Sorry I've not replied to now, the 'answer in the email' feature seems to not be working for me for some reason. To be investigated.

Anyhoo... Reason for looking at 1ph is that the sparky who fitted the house RCD, and I spoke to about wiring up the workshop I'm setting up in the garage, said something about being too far from the supply to be able to put 3ph in there. Did find it weird as the largest sub station in the area by far is over the fence at the end of the street. But my knowledge of the electrical grid is less than rudimentary even so I took his word for it. If the vfd or rotary convertor are things to discuss with him or someone further then I'll do that.

I know 3ph is superior, I understand far more about electricity in use so to speak, it's the 'getting it to and out of the wall' aspect I've not really looked into. I now realise I have some YouTube'ing to do LOL.

J

Andrew Johnston27/06/2022 22:35:14
avatar
6678 forum posts
701 photos

I'd be looking for a new sparky. It may well be far to expensive to connect a 3-phase supply but I can't see the distance being a problem.There may well be 3-phase in the street anyway, so the distance to 3-phase would be a lot shorter than to the sub-station. That's what I have, a true 3-phase supply connected to the 3-phase cable buried the other side of the street.

The use of a VFD gives you the advantages of a 3-phase motor even though only a single phase supply is available.

Andrew

Bill Phinn27/06/2022 23:35:56
768 forum posts
114 photos
Posted by UncouthJ on 27/06/2022 21:48:11:

I now realise I have some YouTube'ing to do LOL.

J

This may be a useful starting point.

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